Texas is a community property state although it does not mean that a judge will evenly split your marital property if you get a divorce. The court considers a variety of factors to ensure that property and asset divisions are fair to both parties. As such, one spouse may receive a greater share of marital property to protect their finances post-divorce.
In certain cases, a spouse decides to hide specific assets to prevent them from affecting a judge’s decision and keeping the upper hand when it comes to assets and financial resources. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, you have several options to uncover them to ensure a fairer divorce ruling.
If an investigation establishes that your spouse hid assets, they risk civil or criminal penalties in addition to a judge possibly voiding a prenuptial agreement or distributing marital assets in favor of the slighted spouse. The penalties can be especially severe if your spouse lied under oath about their property and assets. Perjury is a criminal offense that can result in a jail sentence.
Common Types of Hidden Assets
- Bank accounts including foreign ones
- Money transfers or fake debts to friends or families
- Overpaid taxes
- Unreported income
- Salaries paid to nonexistent employees
- Insurance policies
- Safety deposit boxes with personal possessions
- Antiques, artworks, or other collectibles
- Estate property
What to Do If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets in Texas?
If you notice any of the following, your spouse may be hiding assets:
- They made unexplainable expensive purchases
- You live above your financial means based on your tax returns
- You find out they have opened a private post office box
- You find strange and large money transfers on bank statements
- You suddenly lose access to specific bank accounts or credit cards
If this happens, your first step should be to contact your lawyer to discuss strategies appropriate for your situation.
In the meantime, you should start collecting all documents you have access to such as income tax returns, statements for credit cards, checking, saving, and retirement accounts. You can also take inventory of all known property to get a detailed picture of your spouse’s and joint assets. Any information you can provide as a starting point to your lawyer can help towards uncovering your spouse’s concealed assets.
Before or after you have contacted your lawyer, you may also choose to hire a forensic accountant or a private investigator to look into your spouse’s finances. However, if you do this after talking with your lawyer, you should let them know about your decision.
Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. Can Assist You in the Search and Discovery Process
Our lawyer can help you pursue the search and discovery process that can motivate an uncooperative spouse to reveal their hidden assets.
We can make an official request for documents disclosing the complete list of property, assets, and debts, your spouse has. The purpose of this request is to address all existing questions about their financial situation. The search and discovery process may also involve property inspection and a statement under oath.
If your spouse does not want to comply with our request for documents, you have the right to ask a judge to get involved and provide a court order. Either of those solutions usually results in your spouse disclosing all assets to avoid legal and judicial consequences.
Do you suspect your spouse is hiding assets? Call Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C., today at (281) 612-5443 or use our online form to schedule a consultation in Houston!